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Communication Workshop on HIV/AIDS

A workshop of agencies and implementing institutions on communication for behaviour and social change was organised by UNAIDS in Geneva from 25-27 July 2000. The workshop focussed on sharing of experiences, brainstorming on challenges and the most effective strategies to overcome them. UNAIDS presented the Communication Framework for HIV/AIDS developed in collaboration with Penn State University. This framework stresses the importance of taking into account behaviour influencing factors such as the political/legislative, cultural/religious/spiritual and the gender dimension while addressing communication interventions for HIV/AIDS prevention. A presentation by UNFPA and UNICEF highlighted the specific relevance of the gender dimension in its link to communication for HIV/AIDS prevention, as entrenched gender stereotypes and sexual violence against girls and women have a substantial impact on the epidemic. UNICEF presented also the recently developed WCARO Communication Strategy for Local Response and Partnerships, based on risk zones mapping & prioritisation of intervention zones; the project What Every Adolescent Has a Right to Know, focussing on providing adolescents with a wide range of information and skills on HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and development; and the research-based, strategic communication planning process recently adapted to the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission in Botswana. Several workshop participants - as well as the UNAIDS partner agencies' representatives who met for a post-workshop assessment on the 28 July - stressed the need to increase the communication capacity of the countries' HIV/AIDS teams, as well as the need to utilise available planning tools to improve the quality of communication plans and of their implementation. For copy of the workshop report, please contact Bunmi Makinwa at UNAIDS Geneva.

Peer Education and HIV/AIDS: Past Experience, Future Direction, Report of a consultation, Population Council, Washington, May 2000

This report presents findings from a project designed to identify components and principles that influence HIV/AIDS peer education programme quality and effectiveness, as well as gaps in/and priorities for operation research. The project aimed to be a participatory and comprehensive analysis of the strengths and limitations of peer education, and included three phases: a needs assessment of peer education programme managers, a literature review on the key topics identified by the needs assessment participants, and an international consultation of 45 experts that was held from April 18-21, 1999, in Kingston, Jamaica. Bringing together representatives from a wide rage of peer education programmes enabled the consultation participants to share ideas and deepen their understanding of critical programmatic issues. Programme managers and peer educators alike stated their commitment to broadening peer education from a strategy that focuses on providing information to one that addresses the diversity of determinants of behaviour change through expanded dialogue, community mobilisation, policy advocacy, and the provision of HIV-related services.

For more information, please contact: Population Council, Horizons Project, Communications Unit, 4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 280, Washington, DC 20008 USA. Tel: 202-237-9400, Fax: 202-237-8410.

Email: horizons@pcdc.org Internet: www.popcouncil.org/horizons/horizons.html